Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Security

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: The Security Control Framework

When Cisco introduced the Cisco SecureX Architecture at the 2011 RSA Conference in San Francisco, it aimed to provide network security practitioners the following benefits of a security architecture:

  • Contextual awareness
  • Comprehensive visibility
  • Scalable control
  • Dynamic adaptability to new threats
  • Data and application protection

What exactly does this mean? What does it do? How is it implemented? Which products are needed to achieve the benefits of a Cisco SecureX Architecture?

These are just some of the questions we hear when consulting with people tasked with the protection of an organization’s information and providing appropriate security controls around current and/or new business initiatives.

Around business initiatives, joint research conducted by IBM developerWorks and the IBM Center for Applied Insights has reported four information technologies (mobile technology, business analytics, cloud computing, and social business) that are rapidly reshaping how enterprises operate. This joint research has been published in the 2012 IBM Tech Trends report and security has been identified as a threat to innovation and a top barrier to adopting business-critical technology.

“Mobile technology, business analytics, cloud computing, and social business are rewriting strategic playbooks across industries. In these spaces, new business possibilities are emerging faster than many organizations can act on them, with significant IT skill shortages and security concerns threatening progress. Yet, some companies are equipped to innovate at the front edges of these fast-moving technology trends and drive strategic advantages for their organizations.” -- 2012 IBM Tech Trends pdf

With that introduction of how security relates to business innovation, the aim of this blog post is to raise awareness that the Cisco SecureX architecture is beyond marketing and that in the background, Cisco and our partners are developing products, technology, services, and learning curricula—to help practitioners deploy cyber security architectures using models such as the Cisco Security Control Framework—so that a security architectural blueprint can be in place to allow organizations to have the confidence and agility to accelerate business transformation.

Read More »

Tags: , ,

Real World DNS Abuse: Finding Common Ground

Prologue

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the protocol leveraged within the Internet´s distributed name and address database architecture. Originally implemented to make access to Internet-based resources human-friendly, DNS quickly became critical infrastructure in the intricate behind-the-scenes mechanics of the Internet, second only to routing in its importance. When DNS becomes inaccessible, the functionality of many common Internet-based applications such as e-mail, Web browsing, and e-commerce can be adversely affected—sometimes on a wide scale. This short blog post will explore some real-world examples of DNS abuse. I would like to welcome and thank Andrae Middleton for joining me as a co-author and presenting his expertise on this article.

There are a few different types of DNS attacks: cache poisoning, hijacking attacks, and denial of service (DoS) attacks (which primarily include reflection and amplification). In the news as of late are widespread and focused DoS attacks. Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO), with its distributed sensors, is able observe and measure various aspects of the global DNS infrastructure. What follows are two vignettes detailing recent Internet DNS DoS attacks against the Internet’s DNS infrastructure. We will see that, though the attacks are different, the results are similar and the countermeasures and mitigations are the same.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

The Day I Lost My Mobile with Sensitive Corporate Data

November 26, 2012 at 8:18 am PST

It was a dark, cold, and scary night when I returned from dinner with friends and noticed that my mobile phone was missing. It had corporate sensitive data such as emails, calendar events, and documents, as well as personal data (including pictures, videos and other documents). Well, let me be honest with you, I didn’t really lose my phone. However, many cell phones, tablets, and other gadgets are lost or stolen on a daily basis. The problem of stolen mobile devices is huge. According to a report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year, about 40 percent of robberies in Washington, D.C., New York, and other major cities now involve mobile devices. The FCC has teamed up with the nation’s top wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, to develop a database of stolen mobile devices.

Allowing employees to access corporate email, critical business applications and data makes workers more productive and effective. Finding just the right balance when allowing easy access to the applications that users need to be more productive, while maintaining the integrity and security of enterprise resources, will give your organization a competitive advantage.

Stolen and lost devices are among the many challenges of mobile device security.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Making it Easier for You to do Business with Us – Fixed Price Professional Services from Cisco

November 22, 2012 at 5:33 am PST

Professional services, Consultancy Services, Advanced Services -- call them what you will.   I can hear you say:   “On No!  Complexity”.  “Now I need to work a Statement of Work”.  “I need help to get my project on time, can’t this get easier?”  “I need to get my legal contracts team involved.”  “Why can’t you just tell me a price?”

Common reactions from some of you who will engage any (and I mean any, not just Cisco!) professional services organization (for example,  Cisco Services or one of our many partners) to help bring additional experience, expertise and resources to your projects.  The good news is, where appropriate to your requirements, this complexity has been substantially reduced, with Fixed Price services from Cisco, available now for many of our most popular products and solutions.

I will confess: this is not new  – in fact we (quietly) first released such Fixed Price services back in 2009, to support the Cisco Unified Computing System deployments! – and if we’re honest, we’ve not talked much about them and how successful they’ve become, with many, many customers taking advantage of these quick-to-engage expert services.

These services have really made it easier for customers and partners to do business with Cisco, delivering a number of significant advantages to our customers and partners, as illustrated below.

 

Cisco Fixed Price Services - Characteristics

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Return of the DDoS Attack

One of the greatest threats to Internet service is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks which can paralyze ISPs and disrupt traffic to and from targeted websites. For years now, DDoS attacks have dropped down the IT security priority list as topics such as IP theft took center stage.

Recently however, DDoS attacks targeting organizations of all types have sharply increased. Afflicted organizations had daily operations disrupted and servers compromised, with attacks increasing in sophistication and damage impact. The next waves of attacks will likely be even more complex and damaging.

The DDoS revival reminds us that as threats continue to evolve, organizations must strengthen their security infrastructure and management practices to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of incident response.

Tags: , , , ,